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Thread: Defacto Relationships

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Dairy Flat, Auckland

    Default Defacto Relationships

    I was reading through a book I have, called Living and working in New Zealand and came across this

    " New Zealand recognises de facto relationships, ie unmarried couples(both heterosexual and homeosexual) living together,who have most of the rights and responcibilities of married couples,including the same rights regarding the inheritance of property(From 1st Feb 2002). Under recent legislation defacto couples are entitled to an equal share of the family home and other chattels irrespective of who owns them. However the new rule only applies to defacto relationships of three years or over"

    From what I make of this a couple can live together for more than 3 years ,then split and then get an equal share of each others property so whoever owns the property has to give half to the person he/she has split from.
    I apologise if I seem a bit worried about this or even a bit tight fisted but to me 3 years is not very long. 5 years would have been better. I can understand if children were involved .

    Why I am so concerned about this is because we are moving over here and selling our property in U.K and then buying and renting out property in NZ.

    Because of the complexity of bringing my non dependant children over I will be leaving them behind and they will come over about a year after I do. They both have property I have put in their names and will be selling them in UK.

    What this ruling means they can live with someone up to 3 years and then either get rid of them or share everything with them. I worry that people in the know about this could be all nice for 3 years and then split up along with a nice little earner . Perhaps I am being a bit paranoic about this but I do love my children and it is because of me they are coming over eventually.

    If my son knew about this he probably wouldn't even look at a girl in NZ

    Can anyone tell me if this is true and is there anything that could be done about this? Is anyone else in a similiar positon?

    I do apologise if this has gone on a bit

    Caroline and Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Wellington (from Beds, UK)


    its possible (and supposedly quite straight forward) to enter an agreement to contract out of the provisions of the act. the agreement would just say that each party keeps their own assets and debts that they entered the relationship with - and only shares anything produced during the relationship.

    each partner has to have independant legal advice before entering the agreement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    You can set up a family trust, which means any family property can only be split between those named in the trust agreement:

    I think the ruling is actually for 2 years of de-facto relationship, not three.

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